When I still had Cable tv, I enjoyed a home improvement show where ‘pickers’ offered to declutter attics, garages, and basements and transform them into functional and appealing spaces in return for any treasures that might be uncovered in the process. The homeowners made a list of items that they wished to keep, and these things were hands-off to the pickers. Any important looking paperwork found was left for the owners to sort through.
The pickers usually came out ahead in the deal. One person’s junk is another person’s treasure in the world of pawn shops and consignment stores.
Why did the pickers come out ahead, might you ask? The spaces they worked in were crammed full of boxes, trunks, old furniture, tools, appliances, and electronics. The homeowners had no idea what was actually in those spaces anymore. Most of the time they were overwhelmed by the mess they made, and yet they kept tossing more junk into the room. Some owners inherited the mess from their parents and had no idea where to begin to sort through everything. It didn’t matter to them how the mess was made; they just wanted someone else to take care of it.
Some people want Jesus to clean their hearts, but they don’t want to face seeing what’s actually in there. Just like the hoarders and those who inherited their mess. “We’ll get to cleaning that up one day.” That one day never comes until there is an emergency and the plumber needs to put new lines in the basement, or the roofer needs to check the attic.
So the homeowners call 1-800-Haul-Junk, and the company takes it all away. They vow they’ll never get into such a mess again. But that old TV costs money to bring to the recycling centre. It won’t matter if it goes down to the basement for now. Oh, the new TV doesn’t fit the old credenza, so we might as well put the stand down in that basement as well. And hey, those clothes meant for Goodwill, well they fit in that old stand nice enough. And the cycle continues.
Fortunately for us, Jesus isn’t a 1-800 Junk dealer or a treasure picker with a not-so-hidden agenda. He takes us by the hand, leads us to our cluttered places, and says He’ll help us clean up our mess. Jesus washes off the shame and guilt we feel as a result of allowing our hearts to get in such a mess, but He doesn’t stop there. As He declutters the distractions, he exposes the root of the problem. God wants to deal with our procrastination and avoidance issues, and our problem with letting go of the past. He wants to take that dank, dark, hidden place in our heart that we were afraid to explore and make it into a beautiful sanctuary set aside for communion and intimacy.
Take a deep breath. This devotion has probably stirred up some uncomfortable emotions. Don’t shove those emotions back deep inside. Set aside a few minutes today, put on some worship music and quiet your heart. If there are areas in your life that you’ve avoided because you really don’t have a clue how to unravel the mess, take up Jesus’ invitation. Allow Him to take you by the hand, and allow Him to shine His healing light into those darker areas. You might discover some hidden treasure in the process.
Perhaps, this might be the beginning of a process where God will invite others into the decluttering process – a wise pastor, a good friend, or a Christian counsellor. Perhaps things aren’t quite as complicated as you fear, and between you and God, you might swiftly find a solution. You’ll never know unless you ask.
Meditate on Psalm 139 this week, go through it verse by verse. Let it sink in!
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Until Next Week
©2017 Katherine Walden
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